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Have your say: Credit reports

A visa credit card and sterling notes
You have the right to dispute inaccurate information on your file

We asked listeners what stories they would like us to look at in 2010. And so far, credit rating agencies have been one of the hot topics.

Lenders go to these companies to find out about a borrower's background before agreeing to give them credit. The information stored is crucial to our financial well-being.

Two problems with this system have particularly frustrated listeners.

First, it costs too much to check your credit file. And second, if you find a mistake it is too difficult to get it corrected.

Tell us about your experiences:

Have you had problems?

Do you think the system is fair?

What's your experience of credit rating agencies?

Was it easy to obtain your credit report?

Have you tried to correct information held about you that is wrong?

Do you understand how the industry works?


I understand that in the USA, credit reports are available for free by Law. You could ask Experian, who also operate in the USA why they don't offer it for free here rather than having to register with a credit card and then immediately cancel it to get it for free.
Duncan, Burnley

I felt the questionning by Paul Lewis of the Experian representative was unreasonable. The assumption throughout was that any disputed bad credit score would always be found in favour of the creditor rather than the debtor.

A dispute flag is a perfectly sensible and reasonable course of action on the part of the credit reference agencies and to suggest otherwise is just sensationalist reporting.
Graham, Leicester

Credit reference agencies are are using MY information to make commercial gain for their shareholders. I think that it is a scandal that they should even consider charging me for access to what is mine but once again business has bamboozled parliament into allowing them to screw the individual.
John, Llanidloes

Your report on credit rating companies struck a chord with me, I've twice paid Equifax to find out why I was declined credit only to discover that the reason was a simple mis-match in the addresses submitted for me by a merchant.

In fact the reports didn't even tell me about the problem with the addresses, I had to write to the merchants concerned to eventually get an explanation.

I do feel I was cheated of £2 by Equifax, because the very information which led to my initial rejection did not even show up on the report they sold me.
Mark, Surbiton

It's about time someone took on the credit reference agencies. I'd be delighted if you made this your major campaign for 2010.

My personal gripe is this: the consequences of adverse credit records are now so great that I have no option but to subscribe to the £84pa rip-off to see just what is being recorded about me.

If someone attempts to steal my identity the consequences are horrendous and I get no means of early warning other than paying the credit reference agencies.

My proposal:
Everyone whose details are recorded by the agencies should have the right to see the information in real time FOR FREE. This should be treated as a cost and passed on to those who use the services i.e. banks and other lenders.

I feel totally ripped off by the agencies having the potential to record immensely damaging information about me, and then having the nerve to charge me for the 'service' of viewing that information.
Ian, Letchworth

People should also be aware that, when they check their credit rating online, as well as being signed up for a monthly subscription unless they cancel, the additional information they enter into the application form can be sold on to marketers by the credit rating company.
Steve, London

The credit scoring system unfairly penalises those of us who refuse to have a credit card at all, or to participate in the Electoral Register - I have been refused credit on these grounds despite having no adverse credit history within the last 7 years.
Duncan, Manchester

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